Nash and Samuels on top of Jamaica
St Augustine, Trinidad – Brendan Nash was closing in on a century but the in-form Marlon Samuels missed out on one, as Jamaica dominated Trinidad and Tobago on the opening day of their WICB First Class Championship semi-final on Friday.
The left-hander finished the day unbeaten on 96 while Samuels was dismissed for 80, two innings that propelled the defending champions to 251-3 at the close at the Sir Frank Worrell Ground.
Sent in to bat, Jamaica slipped to 57-2 before Nash and Samuels held the innings together with a third wicket stand of 141 runs, ensuring Jamaica got the better of the exchanges in the all-important encounter.
Nash faced 177 balls, in an innings that has so far lasted 256 minutes and included nine fours and a six. The right-handed Samuels, meanwhile, seemed en route to his fourth century of the competition before he fell after striking 12 fours and a six, off 210 balls in 288 minutes.
Their partnership was crucial after pacer Ravi Rampaul prised out opener Simon Jackson for one with the score on three, to a catch at third slip by Sherwin Ganga. Fellow opener Danza Hyatt played some attractive drives in counting seven fours in 41 off 83 balls before he was trapped lbw by off-spinner Amit Jaggernauth, after adding 54 for the second wicket with Samuels.
Nash then joined Samuels to skilfully avert any further danger, both playing fluently and cashing in on scoring opportunities.
Unflappable throughout, Nash was quick to pounce on anything loose and played one memorable upper cut for six over third man off the bowling off Shannon Gabriel.
Samuels’ one error of judgement cost him his wicket as he drove at a delivery from medium pacer Rayad Emrit and edged to keeper Denesh Ramdin. Nash remained unfazed by the dismissal of Samuels, finding an ally in captain Tamar Lambert (25) to take Jamaica to the safety of the close with a 53-run, unbroken fourth wicket stand.
Jamaica 1st innings
S Jackson c S Ganga b Rampaul 1
D Hyatt lbw Jaggernauth 41
M Samuels c wk Ramdin b Emrit 80
B Nash not out 96
*T Lambert not out 25
Extras (lb3, nb5) 8
TOTAL (3 wickets, 88 overs) 251
Fall of wickets: 1-3, 2-57, 3-198.
To bat: W Hinds, C Walton A Russell, D Bernard, B Brown, J Dawes.
Bowling: Rampaul 17-3-58-1, Gabriel 11-2-44-0, Emrit 14-1-40-1, Jaggernauth 26-13-46-1, Pollard 4-0-9-0, I Khan 12-3-40-0, Ganga 4-1-11-0.
Trinidad & Tobago: D Ganga (captain), L Simmons, D Bravo, K Pollard, +D Ramdin, Sherwin Ganga, A Jaggernauth, Imran Khan, R Rampaul, R Emrit, S Gabriel.
Toss: Trinidad & Tobago
Umpires: Gregory Brathwaite, Goaland Greaves